American Confirms Citibank as Exclusive Card Issuer Going Forward

Last month I wrote that the US Airways card from Barclays is not going away with the American – US Airways merger. That was based on comments from Barclaycard’s managing director of co-brand partnerships.

Today Citibank confirmed the same — that they will be the exclusive issuer of new American AAdvantage cards once the US Airways and American frequent flyer programs are combined in 2015.

Bank of America and Barclays will still service their existing cardmembers for the time being, but won’t be able to issue new cards.

American and Citi made the announcement formally today (I haven’t yet found the release online) that following the integration of American’s and US Airways’ programs Citi will be the exclusive co-brand card issuer.

That was never really much in doubt, American and Citi have partnered since 1987 and Citi had a much bigger installed cardmember base and more resources in its US card operation than Barclaycard.

The Citi Executive card, which they’re getting really aggressive in promoting, comes with lounge access for American lounges and now also provides access to US Airways lounges as well. As the exclusive card offering American lounge access currently, not only does the American Express Platinum card lose access after March 22 but it seems my hoped-for workaround Priority Pass Select is losing access, too.

A year ago I predicted Citibank Will Remain the Issuer of American Airlines Credit Cards After the US Airways Merger. I didn’t see the viability in any bank taking that away from Citi. And that’s basically what happened. The only twist — not that surprising as it’s effectively what happened when US Airways and America West merged, but I wouldn’t have explicitly bet on it — is the continued servicing of existing cardmembers into the future by incumbent issuers of US Airways co-brand cards.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Does one have to be flying american/one world to have access to the admiral club with the executive card ?

  2. Any idea if Barclays cards will still provide the annual companion tickets for $99 and 10K anniversary miles if they still service the cards? Trying to decide whether to keep my existing US Air cards open or not in the long run.

  3. The REAL question is if the benefits of EQMs promised to the old cards persist after 2015.
    i.e., the old BOFA US Card will become an AA card,
    but much like CO Presidential Plus, will it continue to give 10k EQMs for 25k spend after 2015?
    will it be like NW and US Bank where the 10k MQM went away after the DL merger?

  4. @abhi – it’s effectively a club membership so you are not supposed to have to be flying american to access the lounge

  5. @Goose – we don’t know anything about benefits changes at this point, i am keeping my card until such time as benefits change

  6. Gary, does it still make sense to pickup the USAir card during my next round of credit card applications? I’m thinking of doing an AA and one other card

  7. I just got a 2nd USAIR card. will I get a 2nd set of companion tickets and lounge passes when the 1st one renews later this month?

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